Kenya to face USA and South Africa today, and Ireland tomorrow

Monday, July 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Willy Ambaka sprints to score a try against USA in the 2021 Madrid 7s. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE

Kenya men’s rugby sevens national team, Shujaa, is confident of staging a performance like no other in Japan when they take on USA, South Africa and Ireland today and tomorrow at Tokyo Stadium in their Pool C preliminaries.

Speaking to the press in Kurume City, experienced 31-year-old star Willy Ambaka said that their journey to the Olympics started way back in October last year, and what is remaining now is to put all that to action and execute their game plan perfectly.

“We all know the Olympics is the pinnacle of all games. The boys are excited and we can’t wait to get the run out today. We have put in the hard work and the boys are ready to face the world.” said Ambaka.

Shujaa is paired with South Africa, the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medalist, heavyweights USA, and Olympic debutants Ireland in Pool C, and Ambaka is confident of topping the pool.

“We have prepared pretty well and our target is to top the pool. We have played against these teams before and we have won against all of them. So, we just need to focus on ourselves, getting our bodies to feel right.

So, if we maintain that, I am pretty sure we will get some good results,” added Ambaka who is currently playing his professional rugby with Narvskaya Zastava of Russia.

Coach Innocent “Namco” Simiyu has at his disposal a strong squad full of experience led by captain Andrew Amonde, Collins Injera, Willy Ambaka, Billy Odhiambo, Jeffrey Oluoch, Alvin Otieno, Vincent Onyala, Herman Humwa, Daniel Taabu, Johnstone Olindi, Eden Agero, Nelson Oyoo, and Jacob Ojee.

Ambaka is urging them to stay focused and avoid any overconfidence or inferiority emotions.

“We have an experienced squad, but we have to be careful not to let emotions get into us. We just need to stay calm and with a peace of mind and just get the results out of Tokyo.

“We have always complained of the cold weather. We thank the government and the National Olympic Committee for getting us here early to acclimatise to get our bodies right and ready “

 Amonde, Injera, Ambaka, and Billy Odhiambo are the four players in the squad that represented the country in the 2016 Rio Olympics and Jeffrey Oluoch, who is making his debut in the Olympics, said that being in Tokyo is very special to him.

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